An analysis of Schools of Psychotherapy as they relate to Anger Management

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An analysis of Schools of Psychotherapy as they relate to Anger Management

Anger is a basic human emotion that transcends cultural boundaries. However, despite its universality, an exact definition agreed upon by all people is lacking (Norcross & Kobayashi, 1999). Physiologically, brain centers in the amygdala are connected to anger processing. Because the information processing that takes place in this brain structure is primitive, anger can be triggered inappropriately and without the individual's knowledge of the cause. In psychodynamic terms, past events and experiences suppressed in the unconscious can be the source of generated anger. In cognitive-behavioral terms, anger is described as an interaction of behavior, cognition, and
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However, by exploring the various characteristics of the different schools of psychotherapy, similarities and compatibilities become apparent, which can lead to a more integrative and eclectic approach to anger management.

The Psychodynamic Approach

The psychodynamic approach can be traced to Sigmund Freud in the late 19th century and the early part of the 20th century. He first concentrated on a cathartic method to release repressed emotions associated with past experiences and then began to focus on a free association method and the development of transference (Messer, 2001). Underlying the psychoanalytic perspective is the idea of the unconscious. The unconscious is where past experiences and true emotions are hidden. Manifestation of an undesirable trait, such as anger, along with excessive use of defense mechanisms lead to the assumption of a deeper conflict hidden within the unconscious. Psychodynamic techniques try to gain access to the unconscious and make the patient aware of the underlying conflict (Phares and Trull, 2001). Among the emphases of psychodynamic therapy are a focus on the evocation and expression of emotion to uncover the patient's unconscious issues, the importance of emotional insight in which the patient can experience and comfortably understand his emotion, a concentration on a
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